Common and Proper Nouns



Common and Proper Nouns: What’s the Difference?

Common Nouns: Common nouns are general names for people, places, things, or ideas. They do not specify unique or specific entities. Common nouns are typically not capitalized unless they appear at the beginning of a sentence.

Examples of common nouns : teacher, city, car, book

Proper Nouns: Proper nouns, on the other hand, are specific names for people, places, or things. They always start with a capital letter, whether they appear in the middle of a sentence or at the beginning. Proper nouns pinpoint unique individuals, locations, or entities.

Examples of proper nouns include:

  • John (a specific person’s name)
  • Paris (a specific city)
  • Toyota (a specific brand of car)
  • Harry Potter (a specific book title)

Key Differences:

Capitalization: Proper nouns are always capitalized, while common nouns are not unless they start a sentence.

Specificity: Common nouns refer to general categories, while proper nouns specify unique items.

Usage: Common nouns are used for everyday language and general descriptions, while proper nouns are employed when you want to be specific and precise.

 Here are some examples:

  • Common Noun: The teacher explained the lesson.
  • Proper Noun: Ms. Johnson explained the lesson.
  • Common Noun: The city is beautiful in the spring.
  • Proper Noun: San Francisco is beautiful in the spring.
  • Common Noun: My car needs an oil change.
  • Proper Noun: My Toyota Camry needs an oil change.

FREE download worksheet about common and proper nouns as below


please input ?ws= param